By Lori Perkins
Like most of us, I was hoping to get a jump on holiday shopping this year online, but as my mailbox fills up with Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers, it amazes me to see how many of them as still for real life services, events, and activities. No, I do not want 50% off on a Royal Caribbean cruise. I don’t care how much a room at Caesar’s in Las Vegas is — I won’t be booking it. Likewise for the Botox, spa treatments, dental cleaning, eyebrow waxing, axe throwing or escape room events. I would really appreciate it if these reminders of what our lives used to be full of were just removed from my feed, or at least relegated to a button where people who still want to see them can click.
What I want is at home escapes — DIY arts and crafts kits, baskets of food and bath bombs, deeply discounted online concerts and theater, discount streaming services, lessons — things that will make the next four months of waiting for the vaccine better.
I am perplexed by the Black Friday ads for Amazon, Target, Walmart, department stores. Do they really think that after eight months of reduced living I need a new flat screen TV? I have no desire for new clothes, as I have been basically been wearing PJs and sweats for three seasons. Don’t need perfume or make up, that’s for sure.
It just amazes me how bad the marketing for this desperately needed consumer orgy is this year. I was truly hoping to be seduced by all sorts of at-home items I had somehow missed, and instead I’m just bored. I feel that it’s all just recycled from last year.
This will be the worst consumer Christmas ever, but not for lack of consumer interest — rather for lack of imagination on the part of American businesses. But maybe that’s a good thing, because we are going to have to learn to tighten our belts when we emerge from this chapter.